Why You Should LIVE Your Life Now

Elisha Thompson
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“Accepting means you allow yourself to feel whatever it is you are feeling at that moment. It is part of the isness of the Now. You can’t argue with what is. Well, you can, but if you do, you suffer.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
 
One of my greatest challenges is fear. Fear of what will be, and what will not be. If I allowed it, my mind would be a constant whirl of negative possibilities. All too often, we beat ourselves up with thoughts over things we’ve had said, done, or didn’t do. We replay events of the past, critiquing our actions and appearance. We often struggle with worrying over what the future may or may not bring. Rather than looking at our future optimistically, we can at times be eternally pessimistic and scare ourselves by turning possibilities into probabilities. All of this takes us away from the present moment.

Fear makes us miss out on living the life that is right in front of us.

By living in the past and the future, we miss out on many beautiful experiences. I’ve missed out on peace, light, and happiness. By not living in the now, we miss out on life. It is impossible to truly live and feel happiness if you are haunted by the past and terrified of what you think the future may or may not hold. You must let go and be free of everything but the present moment to truly live.

“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.” -Lao Tzu

It is imperative to let go of what has been and what will be in order to fully experience right now. I had a great deal of trouble accepting this to be true, but I have had enough unnecessary days of feeling miserable that I finally gave in and let go. I realized that my worst days were a result of me being upset at life not turning out how I told it to. I have since learned that I cannot control life. We are along for the ride.

No matter how much we want to be able to plan it all out, we cannot. Bad days are unavoidable.

As much as we want life to be easy and full of rainbows and sunshine, there will inevitably be times when life is really hard, dark, and painful. And that is ok. We have to trust that the bad moments do not mean that our world is ending. We will always be okay in the end.
 
A routine yoga practice can help you learn how to live in the present. The time that you spend on your mat is the perfect opportunity to practice truly living in the present moment. Yoga is derived from the word “yuj” which in Sanskrit means “to yolk” or “to unite.” The practice of yoga postures, or asanas, asks you to unite breath with movement. By doing so you can learn to calm the mind and lower the fluctuations of thoughts to the past and present. It may not be easy to do this at first, but with patience and a willingness to keep trying, it will come to you.

 

 
The practice of yoga allows you to become comfortable in the uncomfortable. Yoga is not always blissful and easy. It can be challenging and make you want to run… just like in life. By staying focused on maintaining long, deep, smooth inhalations and exhalations, you can train your mind and your body to stay present and remain calm during rough times.

Take what you learn by being present on the mat into all that you do.

Learn to let go of expectations and simply be present in each moment. Notice the way the sun shines through your lover’s hair. Take in the aroma of your favorite food. Notice the way your breath slows down or speeds up when your favorite person is next to you. Savor the sound of silence. And chaos. Be present.
 
Don’t expect perfection from yourself though. Instead, strive to be more aware of where you are each day. Remember, each day you are different and no matter how you show up, you are beautiful and exactly who and where you are meant to be.

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Elisha Thompson

Elisha Thompson has her masters in Creative Non-Fiction Writing from Arizona State University. She is also a newly certified yoga teacher and loving every minute of her practice. Her Miniature Pincher, Harley, is her pride and joy. Elisha can usually be found at her computer, working on her latest novel. She fully believes that love is all you need and will one day save the world.

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